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China Trip: Hunan

China Trip Week 2: Hunan


From Beijing, I flew south to meet up with some friends in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province.  I started the week in the incredibly beautiful Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a stunning natural park area thought to be the inspiration for the floating Hallelujah mountains in the movie Avatar.  The area is full of striking pillar-like rock formations, some reaching over 3,000 feet in height.  It is also a region of incredible biodiversity, and home to many of the herbal species I use regularly in my practice.

From Zhangjiajie city, we took the world’s longest cable car ride to the top of the breathtaking Tianmen (Heaven’s Gate) Mountain.  This mountain reaches an elevation of about 5,000 feet.  The time we spent there we were enveloped in clouds which obscured our view of the mountains and valleys below.  We were just able to make out the outline of the famous Tianmen Dong (Heaven’s Gate Cave), A hollow opening in the mountain, located at the top of an extremely long and steep staircase.

From Zhangjiajie, I headed further south into the Miao minority village of Fenghuang.  The village has an exceptionally well-preserved ancient town situated on the banks of the Tou river.  It’s a beautiful location, and a nice peak into Miao minority architecture and culture.  

I hope you enjoy the photos!